Shelly...I worked in contract catering for fifteen years and was a chef manager until I enrolled on an Access to HE Diploma at New College Nottingham. The Cambridge course is mind expanding and cutting edge in its research. Some of the things we learn about have not even made it into text books yet! I have learned to think in a different way and look at things that are presented to me with a critical eye. I’ve received many things from College: pastoral support when I thought I wasn’t going to make it; financial support when it was tough going and I needed a little extra; a laugh and a cup of tea from the library staff when the library seemed bigger than me. The opportunities that are before me now are so vast I feel spoilt for choice.

Heather...I worked in the fast food industry before taking an Access to HE Diploma at Birmingham Metropolitan College and studying A-level Sciences, independently. I like the fact that I’m lectured by world experts here: they know the field, because they’re the ones doing critical research in it. There’s also a useful overlap between courses in Natural Sciences, meaning that scientific concepts are explored from a number of perspectives. And overall, it isn’t as scary as I’d anticipated: the material is delivered at a level people feel comfortable with, and I can manage most of my work within scheduled contact hours. Lucy Cavendish is definitely the prettiest ‘mature’ college, with the nicest buildings of all the modern colleges. Everyone knows each other, and the Library has great sofas!

Jade...I was originally home schooled, but prepared for university with an Access to HE Diploma at Kensington and Chelsea College and a legal research internship in Lincoln's Inn. What I have enjoyed most so far about my time at Lucy Cavendish is the friendly, family community here, from the bright smiles in the morning when you greet your housemates whilst making breakfast, to the cheery chats you have with the porters whilst checking post, to the stimulating post-supervision discussions at dinner with class friends. Lucy Cavendish is small enough to know everyone and feel a part of a unit and large enough to be so diverse as to end up learning about a different country and subject at every dinner! No two days are ever the same.